One of my earliest memories is walking up the hill at High Rock Park to the building where the Olde Bryan Inn is today. When I was a small child relatives of mine lived in the building and there was some type of family gathering there. One of the elder Veitch men told me a story about my great-grandfather, Sid Veitch.
The story was that Sid Veitch was once in a car with some gangsters when they shot a guy and dumped his body at the hospital. When the police asked Sid what he knew about the murder, Sid told them that he couldn’t help them since he was in the front seat and the guys that shot him were in the back seat. The absurdity of Sid’s answer seemed to amuse the Veitch men, and it amused me too.
The story of Sid Veitch’s antics with the police always remained in the back of my mind, but I never knew any of the details. After college I was hired by the Saratoga Springs Police Department and worked my way up to become the commander of the detective division.
One day a retired detective called me and asked me to take a second look at an old case from the 1980’s. When I went down to the archives and finished with the detective’s request, curiosity got the better of me and I took a look for the oldest case report we had on file.
I discovered a folder with the words “Parillo Murder” written on it. The case was from 1936 and was the oldest case file I could find. Being a bit of a history buff, I started to read the contents. To my amazement the story was of a man who was shot and dumped at the hospital. Even more interesting to me was the story itself was an incredible tale of an unsolved gangland murder.
Eventually, I researched further the murder and gave a presentation at the Saratoga Springs History Museum. When I was finished a friend of mine said, “you should write a book.”
By then I had discovered many tales from Saratoga Springs’ past that were as interesting to me as the Parillo murder. True stories of gambling, crime and corruption were a part of Saratoga’s past that would challenge any creative mind to come up with on their own.
By writing this book of the history of gambling, crime and corruption to 1921 in Saratoga Springs, I hope to give residents and visitors an accurate picture of the conditions at Saratoga Springs during the roughly first one hundred years of the town. I also hope that the book will serve as a resource for future researchers on the topic.